Cartier Foundation

France Go Full Screen

The phantom in the park. With its transparency. With its enclosure. Trees are visible behind the high glazed barrier, which has taken the place of a long opaque wall, brushing against their eight-meter high enclosure. The lone Chateaubriand Cedar rises up, framed by two screens which assert the entrance. The visitor passes beneath the cedar and sees the spectacle of the trees surrounding the glazed exhibition hall, also eight meters high, in a reading through the depth of the site.
In summer the huge sliding bays disappear and the hall transforms into the extension of the park, given rhythm by high posts. The architecture is about lightness, with a refined framework of steel and glass. Architecture where the game consists in blurring the tangible boundaries of the building and rendering superfluous the reading of a solid volume amid poetics of fuzziness and effervescence. When virtuality is attacked by reality, architecture must more than ever have the courage to take on the image of contradiction.
Jean Nouvel

Status: Inaugurated 1994
Location: Boulevard Raspail, Paris
Dates: 1991-1994
Gross floor area: 11 300m2, 113 000sq.ft
Net floor area: 6 500m2, 65 000sq.ft
Type of commission: Private
Program: Cartier Foundation for the Contemporary Art, exhibition spaces, offices and car parks
Client: Gan Vie
Owner's Representative: Cogedim
Architectural Team:
Jean Nouvel, Emmanuel Cattani & Associés
Project Manager: Didier Brault
Architects: Pierre André Bohnet, Laurence Ininguez, Philippe Mathieu, Viviane Morteau, Guillaume Potel, Steeve Ray, Arnaud Villard, Stephane Robert (Site manager)
Structures: Ove Arup and Partners
Façades: Arnaud de Bussiere et associés
Thermic: Riedweg et Gendre, Sefca
Electricity, Plumbing: Integral Ingenierie
Landscape Architect: Ingenieur et Paysage
Security: Casso
Quantity Surveyor: Pascal Madinier
Model: Michel Goudin